Fitness Tips & Exercise Information you need to know
to get lean and gain muscle quickly.
1. Don't be a workoutaholic. Many beginners train
feverishly under the assumption that more is better, especially
when results first appear. However, you're much better off easing
into the process. "At first, your muscles aren't ready to do a
lot more than they were doing before--they're ready to do a little
more," says Richard Cotton, M.A., chief exercise physiologist
with First Fitness Inc. in Salt Lake City and a spokesperson for
the American Council on Exercise. "You increase your chances of
success by moderating your activity a little bit. The morning
after a workout, you want to feel like you trained, but you don't
want to have to crawl to the bathroom."
2. The best rep range for gaining size is eight to 20.
"The optimum results for muscle growth come from lifting a weight
that's between 60 percent and 80 percent of what you could lift
for one, and only one, rep," says Tudor Bompa, Ph.D., professor
of theories of training at York University in Toronto. "At 80
percent, the average person can do eight to 10 reps; at 60 percent,
he can do 15 to 20. Most people say anywhere from six to 12 reps
is best for muscle growth, but six would be more than 80 percent."
3. The two most important times to eat are when you
wake up and after you train. You need fuel in your tank to
train hard, and if you don't fill 'er up at breakfast, you'll
be running on fumes later. "Make sure the majority of your breakfast
consists of carbs, with some protein, maybe in the form of egg
whites, thrown in for good measure," says Jacqueline R. Berning,
Ph.D., R.D., an assistant professor at the University of Colorado
in Colorado Springs. "Low-fat yogurt, or milk and cereal, would
also fit the bill." It's equally critical to refuel immediately
after you train, when your body's cells are most receptive to
replenishing the energy they just spent. A premade drink containing
both carbs and protein will satisfy immediate postworkout needs
in the short run. A more substantial meal, however, consisting
of complex carbs and complete protein (chicken breast contains
a better amino-acid profile than egg whites, for example) should
be consumed within 90 minutes of a workout.
4. Difficult exercises are good for you, so resist the
temptation to avoid them. Most exercises can be classified
as either single-joint or multijoint movements. The former includes
the barbell curl, in which only your elbow joints move. Along
with the deadlift and the bench press, the latter includes the
squat, during which your ankles, knees and hips are all being
extended and flexed, while your upper body works hard to keep
the load stable. Multijoint movements are the more difficult of
the two types to master, but it's well worth the effort to learn
their proper execution, since they result in maximum muscle growth
of more complex muscle groups like the chest or the legs. "People
often get too specific in their exercise selection," says Thomas
M. McLaughlin, Ph.D., ceo of Biomechanics Inc. in Marietta, Ga.
"At some point, you really need to do big multijoint exercises
that involve large amounts of muscle mass."
5. Unless it is the primary focus of your training,
do cardio after, not before, you lift weights. Or do it during
another part of the day, or better still, on a separate day. "If
you perform aerobic-type exercise first, you'll be fatigued for
your weight training," says Cotton. "As a general rule, strength
training has less of an impact on cardio than cardio has on strength
6. Stretch before you train, and warm up before you
stretch. Don't jump right into your weight-training session.
First, do about 10 minutes of low-intensity exercise on a stationary
bike or a treadmill. "To decrease the chance of injury, you need
to elevate your body temperature before you do anything more intense,"
says Michael J. Alter, M.S., author of Sports Stretch. Once your
tissues are warm, stretch them for another five to 10 minutes,
focusing your effort on those body parts you plan to train. Alter
also recommends stretching the body part, or parts, being worked
for 15 to 20 seconds after every set. And don't jump right out
of your training mode. Follow with a brief cool-down in which
you basically just keep moving for five minutes or so, with another
five to 10 minutes of stretching.
7. Recovery is just as important as training. When
you lift weights, you're actually tearing down muscle fibers.
It's only after you've completed your workout that your muscle
tissues begin the rebuilding process. To allow that process to
unfold properly, give your body adequate downtime in between workouts.
As a beginner, don't lift more than three or four times a week,
never work the same muscle group on consecutive days, and never
train a muscle group that's still sore from a prior workout. For
optimal results, you also need to maintain a proper nutrition
program, which calls for five or six nutrient-packed small meals
a day (four, at minimum). Finally, you need to get enough shut-eye--at
least eight hours of it. Adequate sleep keeps you mentally and
physically sharp for your workouts, and the act of slumber itself
accommodates the release of growth-inducing hormones.
8. Don't do the same workout over and over. Your
body only changes when you force it to, and it's remarkably quick
to adapt to new stimuli. If you repeat the same workout every
training session even for a month, your body can probably handle
it without producing an adaptive response. If you feel like your
progress has reached a plateau, that's probably what's happening.
The best way to avoid plateaus is by periodizing your training,
which simply means arranging it according to discrete phases designed
to achieve different, albeit related, goals, including muscle
growth, strength and definition. That's also the best way to avoid
9. Most guys need to consume an additional 2,500 to
3,500 calories a week to gain one pound of muscle each week.
You can pump iron until you're blue in the face, but if you don't
augment your training efforts with enough food and fluid, the
laws of human biology and simple mathematics dictate that you
won't get any bigger. "When it comes to gaining muscle, the most
important thing is eating enough calories to fuel both your exercise
and the metabolic processes needed to build muscle," says Susan
M. Kleiner, Ph.D., R.D., author of Power Eating. "Most guys who
have trouble gaining weight and strength simply aren't eating
10. Women seem to dig men who work out. Sports psychologists
could speak on this topic at length, and relevant studies doubtless
have been performed, but we know this statement is true because
Karen McDougal tells us it is. "Being in shape definitely gives
men that extra sex appeal," says Playboy's 1998 Playmate of the
Year. "It's the confidence you show that actually leads to the
sex appeal, I think. If you're not confident and you don't feel
good about yourself, why would someone else be attracted to you?
Working out leads to self-confidence, which leads to sex appeal."
© 2003-2017 SupplementsWow.com
This information presented is intended to be used for educational purposes only. The statements made have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration (U.S.). These products are not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any condition or disease. Please consult with your own physician or health care practitioner regarding any suggestions and recommendations made.